Wednesday morning saw the Aldergrove-Lynden border crossing, on Canada’s side, with more than a kilometre of commercial trucks seeking Washington State entry. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

VIDEO: Long line of trucks at B.C. crossing after Canada’s borders close to ‘non-essential’ travel

Vehicle traffic was sparse for those attempting to gain entry into Canada from Lynden, Wa.

It started early on Wednesday.

A kilometre of commercial truck drivers in Canada lined up for hours at the Aldergrove-Lynden border, ready to transport their goods.

By 10 a.m. the lineup to get into Washington State extended north past the Aldergrove Duty Free Shop and Highway 13’s 264th Street connector, 3B Avenue.

And yet the Lynden crossing into B.C. was sparsely populated, only a few trucks passed through the port within the next hour.

[story continues below video]

The lineup seeking entry into the U.S. came just after the federal government announced closure of the U.S.-Canada border, in both directions, to non-essential traffic on Wednesday morning in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure will take effect within “hours or days,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who noted that some $2.7 billion worth of goods traverse the border each day.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

“Trade will not be affected.”

Essential travel will be allowed to continue in order to preserve critical supply chains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, which means shipping trucks will continue to cross the border to deliver food, fuel and medicine.

Workers like health-care professionals who live and work on opposite sides will also be permitted to cross.

Trudeau said during a morning news conference outside his home that he spoke with Trump earlier in the day, and likened the measure to the instructions from public-health officials that people avoid visiting their neighbours – unless doing so is essential.

“Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism,” Trudeau elaborated.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border closing to non-essential travel

Government officials say exemptions will remain in place to ensure Canadians who are now in the United States are able to return home.

This was seen clearly as passenger vehicles were seen granted to cross over at both the Aldergrove and Lynden entry ports.

“In both our countries, we’re encouraging people to stay home; we’re telling our citizens not to visit their neighbours unless they absolutely have to. This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach,” said Trudeau.

The last time the U.S.-Canada border closed was following Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

– with files from the Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

New collective debuts with Crescent Beach show

Nela Hallwas and Lyn Verra-Lay team for ‘Flow’

Former students’ mural showcasing Delta elementary school’s new logo on hold, for now

Ashriya and Karam Purewal painted the spirit logo last spring; formal logo mural delayed due to COVID

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read